Nobody ever asked my birthday

Tomorrow I'll be gone

[title's from a song I heard on Sunday.]

Snape was up early for Sunday breakfast, a Hogwarts Tradition. Everything was traditional at Hogwarts - the house elves were stodgity creatures, and Snape was sure they'd been serving the same food since Salazar Slytherin strode these halls.

His attention was laser focused on the Slytherin table. Draco Malfoy sat there, holding court - which was a welcome and decorous change from the persecuted look he'd had on his face, as girls from all four houses had hounded him for months. Draco Malfoy was the sort you didn't want to back into a corner - he left many of those poor, beleaguered girls in tears. The lad had little patience for being boxed in, something Snape shared in common with his godson. Learning patience had been a trial, Snape thought, and one that Draco would have to endure as well. Some things were best taught with experience alone.

Malfoy wasn't being the pompous prat he'd turned into, somehow, at the prompt age of eleven - proud and boastful. He'd been a perfectly respectful child throughout his proper childhood. Then he'd turned into a complete snob - he'd actually been friends with Crabbe and Goyle at one point. Snape knew that Lucius hadn't cared enough to tell Draco to act thus; the deluded boy had picked it up through immersion, most likely.

It had taken Snape years to drum the delusions out of Draco - years of quietly moving pieces behind the scenes. Certainly Flint wasn't one to take a second year shortie's commandments. Malfoy was decent at strategy, though, so he'd been given the carrot of actually helping, if he could keep his sneering to himself.

Draco wasn't acting like "I've Got A Secret!", so he probably didn't. He may no longer think himself that important, but a message from the Dark Lord, a command, something to do? That would have him acting... well, as he'd always acted in first year. No matter how much of a guise it was, how world-weary the lad was. He'd lived in the same house as the Dark Lord, and that came with certain trials and tribulations. Not that Snape would mention how lucky the little cherub had it. Before the Dark Lord's fall, he had had certain... sexual appetites. They were quite noisy and had prevented Snape from using the library on occasion. Sometimes even the garden.

An unlooked for stroke of luck, Snape thought, in Potter leaving Lucius Malfoy the hell alone. It was unexpected, but Snape planned on enjoying his respite from Potter's Gryffindorian antics for as long as it lasted. Likely it wouldn't be long enough.

[a/n: Leave a review. I'm quite sure Draco didn't intend to leave them in tears, he's just got a way with pointed words. "Do I know you?" "What is your name?" "Do you honestly expect me to remember that?" which is my way of saying that they're being "overly dramatic teenagers" and he's not actually starting blood feuds by being a jerk.

Snape would actually care about nascent blood feuds. In an "oh bother" sort of way.

The joys of seeing inside a well-disciplined mind. Did you really think Snape told the truth? Even to himself?]